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Why use mercury to verify isotope effect in superconducting?

  1. Dec 5, 2015 #1
    Because mercury has a low melting point? What are the advantages of mercury in the isotope effect experiment? Can we use some other materials?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 5, 2015 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    Because a) it was available and b) it has a high Tc.

    Other materials have been used. Just not used first.
  4. Dec 5, 2015 #3
    a) Yes, it is because mercury is available, as mentioned in many papers. But I am afraid this explanation seems a little trivial...

    b) Also, since the critical temperature of mercury is lower than the boil point of helium(4.2K), it still can be regarded as a high critical temperature?
  5. Dec 7, 2015 #4


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    a) Sometimes the reason for making a particular choice IS trivial. Mercury is widely available and well studied.
    b) Any temperature above about 1.6-1.7K can be "easily"reached by pumping on He-4 using a normal rotary pump, meaning you don't need any special equipment to reach a temperature where mercury is well into its superconducting state.
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